“We should never forget that Arroyo was only arrested when she tried to leave abroad. As there was an overwhelming clamor for her arrest and to avoid isolation, the Aquino government was compelled to work for her arrest but with electoral fraud charges which is a long-shot case,” Joseph Canlas said, Amgl chairperson.
“We never believed from the start that Aquino is serious about prosecuting Arroyo as he and his family benefited from the Arroyo government. No one should forget about 'Hacienda Luisita massacre' in 2004, where the 'assumption of jurisdiction' order issued by Arroyo's labor secretary Patricia Sto. Tomas was the very trigger of the violent massacre of striking farmworkers,” Canlas said.
“As blood-thirsty as the Cojuangco-Aquinos, Hacienda Luisita and the entire region was subjected to Arroyo's counter-insurgency plan Oplan Bantay Laya and the now-fugitive butcher general Jovito Palparan was assigned from 2005 to 2006. Oplan Bantay Laya and Palparan resulted to many extra-judicial killings of supporters of Hacienda Luisita farmworkers, as well as peasant leaders from different provinces,” he added.
The group said that rift between the Cojuangcos and Arroyo only started when the Dept. of Agrarian Reform (DAR) was compelled by the sustained campaign for justices for the victims of the massacre and to junk the stock distribution option (SDO), to form the Task Force Luisita and conducted its investigation from November 2004 to February 2005. As the Cojuangco-Aquinos knew that the task force's report to be released on July 25, 2005, was recommending the junking of the SDO, former president Cory Aquino joined the massive public demand to call for Arroyo's resignation on July 5, 2005. The PARC affirmed the report and decided on December 22, 2005 to revoke the SDO. The Cojuangco-Aquinos filed a petition for a temporary restraining order (TRO) on February 1, 2006, subsequently the Supreme Court granted it on mid-June of 2006.
“The two ruling clique was essentially allies but were forced by the people's movement to decide firmly on legitimate issues, Arroyo's ace was the Hacienda Luisita while the Cojuangco-Aquinos' the issue of her corruption and plunder,” Canlas said.
Amgl added that the Aquino government's meekness on prosecuting Aquino is shown by the weakness of the cases it filed. It was not interested to file human rights cases of abuses committed during Oplan Bantay Laya and Palparan's command as they are guilty of the same brutality. The group added that Aquino is no agent of reform as he is not working for justice and would be prevention of abuses in governance.
“These are both landlords and their interest is the monopoly control of land and resources. They are also both puppets of US imperialism, thus, they are fundamentally allies, and their foreign master does not want for them to destroy each other,” he added.
“The very indicator for Arroyo to stay in jail and be convicted is not the Aquino presidency but the people's action. Aquino has no sense of justice but the families of victims, farmers, oppressed sectors and taxpayers do. Thus, we call on different sectors in the region to actually join the movement for Arroyo's conviction,” Canlas called. #